Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Targeting the `Bermuda Triangle' Planners Hope to Redesign a Dangerous Section of I-70 That Has Seen 1,500 Accidents in Four Years

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Targeting the `Bermuda Triangle' Planners Hope to Redesign a Dangerous Section of I-70 That Has Seen 1,500 Accidents in Four Years

Article excerpt

HIGHWAY PLANNERS have an idea for taking the danger out of Interstate 70's hazardous "Bermuda Triangle": make it an easy-to-reach front door for the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

If money could be found for the $30 million project, the change could be done within five years, officials say.

The triangle gets its name from Bermuda Road, the easternmost of the three interchanges in the expressway trouble spot. The two others are Florissant and Hanley roads. The highway plan calls for moving a section of I-70 southward around the Florissant Road interchange. Ramps running above the expressway would take motorists between westbound I-70 to a new university entrance at Mark Twain Drive. New lanes on both sides of I-70 from Bermuda to Hanley would help motorists enter and exit the expressway. An overpass would take Mark Twain Drive across Florissant Road, allowing motorists who want to go between the university and the expressway to avoid Florissant Road. Today, westbound I-70 motorists whiz down a steep hill and sharp curve starting at Bermuda Road. Far too often, they can't avoid vehicles that have slowed down or stopped in the western end of the stretch. An area slightly larger than the triangle - Lucas & Hunt Road to Hanley - has seen 1,500 accidents from 1992 through last year. Ten people died and 763 people were injured. Most collisions involved two moving vehicles, but in about a third of the accidents, one vehicle went off the road and hit something. The state Transportation Department and the university are negotiating to finance the project. The university owns the key stretches of right of way near Florissant Road needed for the work. Highway and university officials are talking about the university donating the land on which to build ramps between westbound I-70 and the campus. State highway officials say they expect to use $15 million allocated for other I-70 projects for the Bermuda Triangle project in 1999. Les Sterman, East-West Gateway Coordinating Council's executive director, said he is uncertain about that. …

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